Suspect flees Buckley police, crashes in wooded area, has not been located

Austin Chase went missing after eluding police on Jan. 13.

Blotter bug

More than two weeks have passed since the disappearance of Austin Chase, who was last seen fleeing from law enforcement.

According to numerous online reports, the 36-year-old Chase was in Buckley on Jan. 13, driving a silver Ford Escape. City police attempted to stop the speeding vehicle but instead became involved in a chase that took them south, out of town on state Route 165. The pursuit, which eventually was joined by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, sped past Burnett, through Wilkeson and beyond Carbonado. After police backed off, Chase apparently continued across the Fairfax Bridge then traveled another five miles on a gravel road leading toward Mowich Lake.

According to information posted by the Pierce County Sheriffs Department, the Ford Escape was found over the side of a steep embankment not far from the Evans Creek ORV Park. The department noted there was no sign of Chase “and nothing was observed in or around the vehicle that would indicate that the driver had been injured.” A department spokesman, Sgt. Darren Moss, said conditions were rainy and windy at the time.

A search-and-rescue mission involved people on foot as well as those in 4×4 rigs, along with a K-9 unit. The hunt for Chase, a resident of the Waller area south of Tacoma, was unsuccessful. In the two weeks following his disappearance there had been no activity on his cell phone and no transactions on his financial accounts.

A “missing person” flier has been circulated, asking for help. Anyone with information about the missing man is asked to notify Moss with the PCSD or Assistant Chief Mike Northam with the Buckley Police Department. The case number is 2101501334.

Chase is described as 5 feet, 11 inches tall and 180 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair that had been shaved. He was last seen wearing jeans and a white T-shirt.

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